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Founders

This year I have been fortunate enough to be invited into numerous communities of startup founders. Equally, it is a breath of fresh air when I am in more diverse circles discussing things like parenting, wildlife, and spirituality. It is in these moments when I get away from tech when I remember the first principles that still hold true when executing on ideas. Overwhelmingly much of the content shared in the startup communities are opinions on articles from top tech publications and VCs. From Hackernews to TechCrunch or YC’s latest

Tell us a bit about yourself? So I’m Aniyia Williams, and I wear a couple of hats. One of them is being the executive director of Black and Brown founders. Which is how I spend most of my time these days – its a nonprofit that helps Black and Latinx people launch and build tech and tech-enabled businesses from the lens of doing that with modest resources. Our whole principle is pushing profitability over fund-ability and doing everything from the lens of if you never saw a dollar of investor money

I like to talk to youth the because they give an unfiltered and honest perspective on society. I had the privilege of talking to rising seniors of a top-notch academy in upper Harlem. Part of our convo went like this: Me: “Do you know who Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Reid Hoffman are?” Them: “Yes, Steve Jobs is Apple! Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook!” Me: “Great! Do you know any famous Black or Latinx business men or women?” Them: pause………”Yes! Dr. Dre, Puff Daddy, Jay-Z!” Me: “Ok nice. Final question.

“I love tech, but I’m not a techie” is a phrase I’ve heard from countless people, particularly women, since starting Hustle Crew in 2016. I shake my head every time because even though I have worked in tech for almost a decade at giants like Amazon and Groupon, I never once wrote a line of code in any of those roles. What does it mean to be techie anyway? I found myself in summer 2016 unemployed with no next move planned. I quit my job in a London based startup

Tell us a bit about yourself? My name is Sheena Allen. I am from a small town in Terry, Mississippi. I started my first tech company in my senior year of college; the company was called Sheena Allen apps, now I’m actually onto my second startup which is a company called CapWay, which is a financial technology company. We are a mobile first, and we focus on the unbanked and underbanked millennials. What was your journey with starting CapWay? I was working on my first company. It was doing pretty

I’m focused on solving a problem I’m passionate about and delivering venture sized returns for my investors without a VC firm, but it wasn’t always that way. The photo below is from early 2014 when things were much different, especially my dependency on the idea of what VCs represent. Looking back, I can genuinely say that I was always jealous when I read about these massive venture-backed rounds for competitors like Sosh ($10m+ raised from VCs), YPlan ($35m+ raised from VCs), Foursquare ($230m+ raised from VCs) and countless others, not

Five years ago I was leading strategic partnerships for a World Bank agricultural research institution. I was “living my best life”, travelling all over the world and making an “impact” — at least that’s what I thought until I found myself on a rooftop in Nairobi, Kenya with a filmmaker, a designer, and a restaurateur who would change my life forever. That night, inspired by the courage, drive, and resilience of my peers I realized that disrupting the narrative on Africa in a way that did not involve “selling poverty”

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do? I’m a data journalist analyzing and covering trends in the black tech ecosystem related to public policy, equity, education, and the growth of black tech communities. I am also the founder of ThePLUGDaily.com—the first daily technology newsletter covering founders and innovators of color. I also run BLKTECHCLT—Charlotte’s first black tech hub supporting black entrepreneurship and research initiatives in the city. How and why did you get involved in tech I learned to code in high school thanks to an internship

Recently Aytekin Tank, founder of JotForm wrote a compelling piece titled, “Why startups are dying left and right.” In this article, he shared the less glamorized view of entrepreneurship where he demystifies the experience. The slow, patient road, at times, bootstrapped, always tough, riddled with lessons from failure and prioritizing profit over growth. I shared this article with the community at ustwo Adventure. It was encouraging and enlightening to see some of the common strands that resonated with this collective of ‘less glamorized’ entrepreneurs. In this article, I have shared the top 3 of

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do? I’m the co-founder of two businesses, KeepUp and Black Women Talk Tech. I started KeepUp, which automates social media listening for consumers and small businesses, in 2014 and shortly after won the largest business plan competition in the world, 43North competition. A few years in, I founded Black Women Talk Tech with two other tech founders to help provide resources, support and funding to help black women create the next billion dollar companies. Our main event, a two day conference

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